You are never really prepared for the real event. I was attempting to be really patient. In flux between savouring the last days of pregnancy, feeling my baby safely inside me, enjoying my time with my partner and relishing in leisurely activities of reading a book, going to sleep when I wanted and just being solo mio!
Even though the due date is an arbitrary time to hang your diaper bag on, there is a sense of pressure around it. Our due date was March 9th. Two days after Cheryl’s birthday and 7 days before mine! I did not want to be medically induced so around the 9th of March I started some homeopathic remedies to support labour and did some reflexology and acupuncture treatments.
On the evening of the March 12th, after some acupuncture, I felt some very intense surges for 40 seconds every 2-3 minutes and thought I was going into active labour it was so intense. I vomited. I breathed. I bled my bloody show. Cheryl pressed on my back while I breathed through the surges and we were just ridding the waves and listening to my body and the baby. This lasted about 4hours! I spent a lot of time in lying in the bath as well. And then finally I put my hands on my belly and said “Baby if we are going to do this can we just have a little rest before the end? I’m exhausted!” Almost immediately my contractions settled and we slept for a couple hours!
Then the next day I had some intermittent contractions, mostly left side pangs, nothing too consistent, I pretty much just rested, drank, breathed and set the space for calm. We called our midwife just to let them know there may be a baby born in the next 24hrs. She said I had to wait for contractions for 1minute long 5 minutes apart and that from everything I described I was feeling it could go on for a couple days now! She also said that she was not on call that night!!! And in some freak chance neither was our backup midwife. This struck me as interesting. Cheryl had a sixth sense that they wouldn’t show up so I was pretty convinced we would be having our baby tonight!
Around 10pm, like the night before, everything amped up really fast! I was in 30-40second contractions every 2-3 minutes. Cheryl tried to sleep but then I vomited and we knew it was on like donkey kong! It was like Ground hogs day but I knew at the end we would have our baby! We called our doula and friend Amanda and things got stronger when she arrived and supported my breath and sound work and pushed on all the right points on my back. She was incredibly supportive. Sitting on the yoga ball was great to open up my hips. Unlike the night before I wanted to move around a lot. I could feel the baby moving down.
At about 11:30 I decided to go to our womb room, the intended birthing room we had been mediating in and charging up for months. Cheryl had just filled the birth tub. As soon as I pulled back the curtain I had the urge to push! And it was mighty! CALL THE MIDWIFE! My doula yelled! Who is the midwife?! We wondered! It was pretty comical.
I got into the tub and immediately was in transition my feeling in the tub with the intense urge to push freaked me out but Amanda coached me strongly back to myself. This is when the hypnobirth calm breathing and steady held me in the stillpoints, which were blissful, otherwise I was swearing like a trucker. Moaning and making long low guteral noises and deep unearthing sounds that would wake the dead!
A midwife arrived at 12ish. She rolled in with a blond ponytail wearing a leather jacket smelling like smoke, maybe we took her away from a night at the pub? But instantly we liked her, she seemed calm and ready for action. I was so nervous when she was going to check me that she might say, “Your 4cm.” But thank goddess she was like “it’s go time” and called the back up mid wife. The tub was amazing for my pain but it felt like squatting was the only position that worked.
The back up midwife showed up in a cozy looking crotched hat with a kind face just as the baby was crowning at about 1pm. It’s funny the things you remember when you are in and out of such a heightened state of awareness. Everyone was yelling at Cheryl to hop into the tub and get ready to catch the baby, but she hadn’t suited up yet and ran as fast as she could upstairs to change! Modest as she was she needed the appropriate outfit! She did a cannonball into the tub and was ready in position. And there we remained for a long time! From crowning to full delivery was another 2.5hrs! Yep.
That was insanity. They kept saying “Just a couple more breathes and you will meet your baby”. Or helpful things like, “Your so strong Sarah, that’s good, just push a bit harder this time.” As if I AM NOT PUSHING HARD ENOUGH! Seriously, it was really strengthening to feel the love and support of all the women in the room being present and there for us for the duration of labour.
We got out of the water in the end so that one of the midwives was pouring oil on me and helping me stretch out my bits. Pulling with every contraction and stretching me out. It was excruciating. The baby’s heart dipped briefly for about 20 seconds and they said we were both getting tired I needed to really push now! I caught my breathe and said to my baby let’s do this thing! I summoned up as much energy as I could and attempted to really feel the earth energy below us strengthening me.
Finally the 2 push conclusion on March 14th at 3:30am, the time I awoke every day of my pregnancy! And if just felt so easy at that point. In our birth video I actually say, ” F”ing right on!! Oh that wasn’t so bad!”
They put my baby on my chest and her scream was ferocious, the most beautiful sound I had ever heard! “Welcome baby, you did such a great job! We are so glad you are here!”
I was in rapture that the pain was over and forgot to even ask about the sex. Cheryl checked and announced, “It’s a girl!” Everyone cheered! Our baby girl Esme Florence was born!
After 5 hours of active labour and a couple days of prep work. I really think she was waiting for her gate. This was her time.
We were now officially mothers!
A very BIG thank you to everyone who supported this journey, could not have done it without you! It takes a team!